Iraq’s Kurdish Elections To Go Ahead In September Despite Flawed Voter Rolls

August 30, 2013 at 9:39 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Iraq’s Kurdish Elections To Go Ahead In September Despite Flawed Voter Rolls

The last barrier to Kurdish parliamentary elections was recently removed. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and some of the opposition parties were complaining about outdated voter roles being used. The Election Commission said that they could go through the lists, but that would delay the vote for two months. Instead, the lists decided to hold the balloting on time, which will be in September. The parties therefore decided to maintain the status quo rather than pushing through a much needed reform.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is finally cleared to hold its parliamentary vote in September 2013. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistanand the Change List complained to the Election Commission that thousands of names on the voter roles belonged to dead people or were repeated. For example, they claimed that around 90,000 peopled had died in Kurdistan since March 2009, but that only 440 names were struck from the voter rolls, while a PUK member told the press that 10,000 deceased people voted in the last regional elections in 2009. They were worried that this could be used for ballot fraud. The Commission replied that it could go through the lists, but that would mean that the voting would have to be delayed until November 2013. Neither party was happy with that response, but decided to hold the elections on time. That means the parliamentary vote will occur on September 21. Holding up the event would have caused more controversy in the region. In July, the PUK and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) agreed to extend Kurdish President Massoud Barzani’s term two more years. (1) The official reason was that his leadership was needed to ensure the passage of the draft constitution through the parliament. The real reason was that Kurdish laws states that he can only stay in office for two years, but he did not want to go, so the ruling parties simply agreed that he could maintain his position until the laws were changed, and he could get elected again. The opposition parties were outraged by this seeming coup. Given that background the parties did not want to be accused of standing in the way of democracy anymore. They thought it was more important that the voting go ahead despite whatever reservations they might have had.
Kurdistan is going to have parliamentary elections as planned in September, but the process seems flawed. There appears to be major problems with the voter rolls, which opens up the possibility for cheating. The Election Commission said it could try to clear the lists, but it would take time. Given the fact that the presidential elections were delayed for two years in a backroom deal that violated the law, the PUK and Change List decided to drop their objections, and go ahead with the balloting next month. When they do happen the results will likely maintain the status quo. The KDP faces no real challenges in its strongholds, while the PUK and Change List will battle it out in Sulaymaniya. If there are reports of ballot stuffing or other manipulations the flawed voter rolls might have played a role. It’s rather shocking that some of the parties would agree to let this issue go when there was a possible solution. Instead, it will be business as usual in the KRG come September.
FOOTNOTES
1. Awene, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, “Iraqi Kurdish parties’ said deal prior to extension of regional president’s term,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 7/2/13
SOURCES
Ahmed, Hevidar, “Ambiguities over Voter Numbers Remain a Hurdle For Kurdistan Polls,” Rudaw, 7/31/13
– “Kurdistan Polls Still Elusive Over Voter Lists,” Rudaw, 8/19/13
– “PUK-KDP at Odds over Voter Registration Lists in Kurdistan Region,” Rudaw, 8/9/13
AIN, “KRG identifies 21, Nov for provincial elections,” 8/7/13
Awene, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, “Iraqi Kurdish parties’ said deal prior to extension of regional president’s term,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 7/2/13
Buratha News, “Barham Salih: the holding of elections is important and undue delay,” 7/31/13
Chomani, Kamal, “Kurdish region no longer possesses a legal president,” World Bulletin, 7/2/13
Iraq High Election Commission, “IHEC suggest to run both the Parliamentary and Provincial Council Elections of Kurdistan Region of Iraq in one day,” 8/25/13
Al Rayy, “Election Commission rejects the request of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) to reconsider the voter registers,” 8/20/13
Shafaq News, “Change movement give up its demand of reconsidering voter’s register,” 8/26/13
– “IHEC demands to postpone Kurdistan’s Parliament elections,” 7/18/13

BP Likely to Work on Kirkuk Revival – Analyst Blog

August 30, 2013 at 12:25 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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BP Likely to Work on Kirkuk Revival – Analyst Blog

By Zacks.com,  August 29, 2013, 12:35:10 PM EDT

U.K. supermajor BP plc ( BP ) intends to ink an initial agreement in early September relating to the revival of Iraq’s northern Kirkuk oilfield.

The deal could spark off regional politics as the field overlaps the border with the autonomous Kurdish region. BP, which is already working at Iraq’s largest producing field, Rumaila, is expected to gain access to considerable reserves in the north through the Kirkuk deal.

The deal would give Baghdad an experienced partner and facilitate it in making up for the huge fall in output from Kirkuk. The British giant is likely to work on – Baba and Avana geological formations – controlled by Baghdad. The third formation of Kirkuk, Khurmala, is administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government and is being developed by the Iraqi Kurdish KAR group.

The yield at the 78-year old field has come down to 280,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 900,000 bpd in 2001. The main reason behind the decline is years of water injection and dumping of discarded crude and products into the field.

The Iraq government has asked BP to increase production capacity to about 600,000 bpd within five years. However, the rate of development at Kirkuk will not be as rapidly as the giant southern fields of Rumaila, Zubair and West Qurna-1.

The yield at these southern fields has been enhanced by 600,000 bpd in just two years by BP, Eni SpAE ) and ExxonMobil Corporation ( XOM ).

BP’s Kirkuk field contract, which has been under discussions for over a year, is only for 18 months. But it is likely to provide an opportunity to the company to negotiate a longer-term development contract.

Read more: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/bp-likely-to-work-on-kirkuk-revival-analyst-blog-cm271351#ixzz2dOpnHwP6

Government approves Turkmen force in Kirkuk

August 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Aswat Al Iraq 


Government approves Turkmen force in Kirkuk
8/25/2013 8:08 PM

KIRKUK/ Aswat al-Iraq: The Iraqi government decided the formation of a Turkmen force to defend their areas in Kirkuk province, as reported by Turkmen Group at the provincial council here.

Tahseen Kahya told Aswat al-Iraq that the government will appoint 500 Turkmen to force a force affiliate to Iraqi defence ministry to defend Turkmen areas inside and outside Kirkuk city.

The formation of this force came after Turkmen parties and people insistence to form this force

Two Births: A Gilded Arrival and a Poisoned Legacy

August 27, 2013 at 12:09 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Two Births: A Gilded Arrival and a Poisoned Legacy

Global Research, August 13, 2013
nuclear_blood

” … war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children.” (Howard Zinn, 1922-2010.)

On 22nd July two babies were born – in different worlds. Prince George Alexander Louis, son of Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine, arrived in the £5,000 a night Lindo Wing of London’s St. Mary’s Hospital, weighing a super healthy 8lbs 6 oz.

According to the hospital’s website: “The Lindo Wing offers private en suite rooms, designed to provide you with comfort and privacy during your stay. Deluxe rooms or a suite are available on request. Each room has a satellite TV with major international channels, a radio, a safe, a bedside phone and a fridge. You and your visitors can access the internet and … a daily newspaper is delivered to your room each morning throughout your stay. Toiletries are also provided.”

Also on hand is a: “Comprehensive wine list, should you wish to enjoy a glass of champagne and toast your baby’s arrival.”

Moments away, are also some of the world’s finest medical facilities and specialists, in the event of complications.

To mark the birth, the band of the Scots Guards played at Buckingham Palace, the fountains in Central London’s Trafalgar Square were lit with blue lights for six days and the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the Honourable Artillery Company staged a forty one gun royal salute. At least, breaking the habits of the centuries, and recent decades, this time they didn’t kill anyone.

On the same day, a universe away, in Falluja, Iraq – poisoned by weapons armed with uranium, chemically and radiologically toxic, and white phosphorous, a chemical weapon, and other so far unidentified “exotic weapons” – baby Humam was born. In a city relentlessly bombarded in 1991 and again in two further criminal, inhuman US decimations in 2004.

Humam was born with Retrognathia, a congenital heart disease , Omphalocele and Polydactly of upper and lower limbs. Omphalocele is an abnormality that develops as the the foetus is forming. Some of the abdominal organs protrude through an opening in the abdominal muscles in the area of the umbilical cord. Polydactly is the manifestation of extra digits on the hands or feet, in Humam’s case, both.

Humam translates as: “Brave, noble, generous.”

Dr Chris Busby, whose appointments have included sitting on the UK Ministry of Defence Oversight Committee on Depleted Uranium, and is a visiting Professor in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Ulster, has made extensive studies in Falluja. He tested parents of : “children with congenital anomalies and measured the concentration of 52 elements in the hair of the mothers and fathers. We also looked at the surface soil, river water and drinking water. We used a very powerful (mass spectroscopy) technique called ICPMS … the only substance we found that could explain the high levels of genetic damage was the radioactive element uranium.” (i)

Much has rightly been made of the use of depleted uranium (DU) in Iraq in 1991 and the subsequent decade-plus illegal bombing of the country by the US and UK, then the 2003 and subsequent onslaughts, but, says Busby:

“Astonishingly, it was not depleted uranium. It was slightly enriched uranium, the kind that is used in nuclear reactors or atomic bombs. We found it in the hair and also in the soil. We concentrated the soil chemically so there could be no mistake. Results showed slightly enriched uranium – manmade.”

This enriched uranium was found in Falluja’s: “soil, water and in the hair of parents whose children had anomalies.”

Relating to the near Dresden-like bombardment of November 2004, Busby is convinced of a connection between cancers, deformities and the uranium weapons:

“Uranium is excreted into hair and hair grows at a known rate: one centimeter per month. We obtained very long hair samples … and measured the uranium along the lengths of the hair, which gave us historic levels back as far as 2005. In one woman, whose hair was 80 centimeters, the uranium concentration went up toward the tip of the hair, showing very high exposures in the past (and) “ the uranium was manmade, it was enriched uranium, …”, he stressed.

Busby believes: “ … these results prove the existence of a new secret uranium weapon. We have found some US patents for thermobaric and directed charge warheads which employ uranium … to increase their effect …”

His team also: “ investigated bomb craters in Lebanon in 2006 after the Israeli attacks and found one which was radioactive and containing enriched uranium. We found enriched uranium in car air filters from Lebanon and also from Gaza. Others have found evidence of its use in Afghanistan and possibly also in the Balkans …an astonishing discovery with many global implications.”

Dr Busby claims that: “It is clear that the military has a secret uranium weapon of some sort. It causes widespread and terrifying genetic defects, causing cancer and birth anomalies and poisoning the gene pool of whole populations. This is a war crime and must be properly investigated.

“This material … is slowly contaminating the whole planet. It is poisoning the human gene pool, leading to increases in cancer, congenital anomalies, miscarriages and infertility … It has probably been employed in Libya, so we must wait and see what levels of cancer and congenital disease appears there.” (Emphasis mine.)

Further, Dr Busby’s report, compiled with Malak Hamdan and Entesar Ariabi, found infant mortality in Falluja in eighty of every thousand births,.in neighbouring Jordan it is seventeen.

Robert Fisk describes a visit to Falluja General Hospital last year:

“The pictures flash up on a screen on an upper floor of the Fallujah General Hospital. And all at once, Nadhem Shokr al-Hadidi’s administration office becomes a little chamber of horrors. A baby with a hugely deformed mouth. A child with a defect of the spinal cord, material from the spine outside the body. A baby with a terrible, vast Cyclopean eye. Another baby with only half a head, stillborn like the rest … a tiny child with half a right arm, no left leg, no genitalia … a dead baby with just one leg and a head four times the size of its body.” (ii)

One British trained obstetrician somehow raised funds for a £79,000 scanner, for detection of congenital abnormalities. Why, she asked, would Iraqi’s Ministry of Health not hold a full investigation into Falluja’s birth defect epidemic?

Answer, surely: because the cause would be weapons used by the US – to whom the government of Iraq owe their positions and their mega money accumulating enterprises.

(Ironically the Ministry of Health under Saddam Hussein moved mountains, under the uniquely difficult circumstances of the embargo, to collect statistics from throughout the country and to press the relevant world bodies for widespread investigation into the cancers and abnormalities, to no avail.)

Dr Samira Allani talks of: “the increased frequency (of congenital abnormalities) that is alarming.” Congenital heart defects, a research paper she has written states, had reached “unprecedented numbers” by 2010. Still births and premature births also continue in an upward spiral.

Falluja lacks even laboratory equipment to facilitate the treatment of foetal infections which are curable.

But this is an Iraq-wide phenomenon, ongoing since the 1991 bombings and simply multiply escalating.

In the southern holy city of Najav, Dr Sundus Nsaif says: “After the start of the Iraq war, rates of cancer, leukemia and birth defects rose dramatically in Najaf. The areas affected by American attacks saw the biggest increases … When you visit the hospital here you see that cancer is more common than the flu.” (iii)

Dr Nsaif comments on an active push by the government not to talk about the issue, speculating the reason is perhaps in an effort not to embarrass coalition forces. Never mind embarrassment, the implications for claims for compensation could be a world first in the potential size of damages, where ever these weapons have been used.

In Basra it is reported that birth defects increased seventeen fold in under a decade after the 2003 invasion and, as Falluja, over half of all babies conceived since are “born with heart defects.”

“The Pentagon and the UN estimate that US and British forces used 1,100 to 2,200 tons of armor-piercing shells” made of depleted uranium during attacks in Iraq in just two months, March and April 2003. Enriched uranium is not mentioned of course. That added to the up to 900 tons in 1991, the subsequent illegal bombings and the bombardments including Falluja, March 2003-December 2011, when the US forces slunk out of their killing fields under cover of darkness.

The warning after 1991 by none other than the UK Atomic Energy Agency must never be forgotten: ”If fifty tonnes of the residual (depleted uranium) dust is left in the region, there will be an estimated half million cancer deaths by the end of the century” (2000.) The further horror of enriched uranium was not, seemingly, a known factor then.

There is surely a vast cover up on the effects of these weapons. As Mozhgan Savabieasfahani has written: “The joint (World Health Organisation) and Iraqi Ministry of Health Report on cancers and birth defect in Iraq was originally due to be released in November 2012. It has been delayed repeatedly and now has no release date whatsoever.”(iv)

He writes: “The back-breaking burden of cancers and birth defects continues to weigh heavily on the Iraqi people”, in an article which draws attention to the fact that fifty four eminent academics from a number of countries have written to the WHO demanding the release of the Report.

He adds that in November 2006: “The British Medical Journal published an article entitled ‘WHO suppressed evidence on effects of depleted uranium, expert says.’ It suggested that earlier WHO reports were compromised by the omission of a full account of depleted uranium genotoxicity.

“Additionally, recent revelations by Hans von Sponeck, the former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, suggest that WHO may be susceptible to pressure from its member states.

“Mr. von Sponeck has said that ‘The US government sought to prevent WHO from surveying areas in southern Iraq where depleted uranium had been used and caused serious health and environmental dangers.’ “

Further, adding fuel to radioactive fire, there are reports that the latest WHO Report does not even touch on depleted uranium (yet alone enriched.) We will have to wait and see – and wait and wait …The WHO of course is an arm of the UN, so read US.

One of the first people arrested in Iraq on the asinine US playing cards of the “most wanted” in 2003, was Dr Huda Ammash. Dean of Baghdad University, and internationally renowned environmental biologist, who earned her PhD at the University of Missouri.

She extensively researched and wrote papers on the effects of DU and other pollutants after the 1991 war and cited the International Treaties outlawing such weapons and stressed depleted uranium weapons not being “depleted” but a “radioactive waste”, the all in minutely detailed, careful, hard hitting, scientific, incontrovertible fact. “DU is radiologically and chemically toxic to humans and other forms of life.” (v) She was way ahead in what she had detected.

Her contribution to the widely acclaimed “Iraq Under Siege – the Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War” (Pluto Press, 2000, updated 2003) was a wake-up call on the environmental Armageddon wrought on Iraq by the toxic weapons of 1991.

Her introduction read: “The Gulf war ended in 1991, but the massive destruction linked to it continues. An unprecedented catastrophe resulting from a mixture of toxic, radiological, chemical and electromagnetic exposure is still causing substantial consequences to health and the environment …. much of Iraq has been turned into a polluted and radioactive environment.”

The highly publicized book surely made her a marked woman. She was one of the first arrests of the Iraq invasion, dubbed “Dr Anthrax” in US disinformation, remaining in US custody until November 2005.

Robert Fisk, in his graphic article, cited above, writes: “This is too much. These photographs are too awful … They simply cannot be published.” He cites the pain of the parents, many who wanted to talk to him and the world to know.

The facts, the pictures, should be on the front page of news outlets across the globe until these obscene weapons are outlawed. Iraq’s plight is being, and will be replicated where ever they have been and are again used.

They are the new Hiroshimas and Nagasakis, with the genetic burden loaded on future generations for possibly millennia.

If the WHO Report ever comes out, it will anyway be no good to baby Humam and uncounted others.

The birth was “very emotional” said Prince William’s wife, Catherine, of that of Prince George Alexander Louis. Imagine being Humam’s mother, or any mother in Iraq, who has no idea what horrors her precious offspring may present with.

The little Prince is to be feted from the day of his birth onwards – uncounted children of Iraq and where ever these weapons have been used, are fated from the day of theirs.

Ironically the Prince’s father and uncle, Prince Harry, both belong to the UK armed forces, with America, partners in crime in these horrors.

i. http://rt.com/news/uranium-birth-defects-fallujah-729/

  1. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-children-of-fallujah–the-hospital-of-horrors-7679168.html
  2. http://www.countercurrents.org/cc230713B.htm
  3. http://www.globalresearch.ca/rise-of-cancers-and-birth-defects-in-iraq-world-health-organization-refuses-to-release-data/5344530
  4. http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1220-31.htm

See also: Pentagon admits used white phosphorous against Iraqis in Falluja:

http://www.democracynow.org/2005/11/17/pentagon_reverses_position_and_admits_u

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